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OMRI DAILY DIGEST - No. 61, Part II, 27 March 1997


No. 61, Part II, 27 March 1997

This is Part II of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest.
Part II is a compilation of news concerning Central, Eastern, and
Southeastern Europe. Part I, covering Russia, Transcaucasia and Central
Asia, is distributed simultaneously as a second document. Back issues
of the OMRI Daily Digest, and other information about OMRI, are
available through OMRI's WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/Index.html

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
In the 21 March issue of OMRI's journal TRANSITION**:

THE MIDDLE CLASS
- Economic Reform Casts a Long Shadow in Russia
- The Making of the Middle Classes
- Poland's Perpetually New Middle Class
- Some Russians Are Learning to Be Rich

PLUS...
- RUSSIA: The NATO Distraction (A discussion with Grigorii Yavlinksii)
- UKRAINE: Caution is the Key for Ukraine's Prime Minister
(a profile of Pavlo Lazarenko)
- CENTRAL EUROPE: Security Services Still Distrusted
- TAJIKISTAN: Defining the 'Third Force'

MEDIA NOTES: Journalists as Physical Pawns;
Political Moves at Russian TV

For subscription information about OMRI's new monthly, send an e-mail
message to transition-DD@omri.cz

Note: Transition is not available electronically

**See important message below on the upcoming changes to TRANSITION
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CABINET RESHUFFLE TO RESUME IN UKRAINE? Security Council Secretary
Volodymyr Horbulin said President Leonid Kuchma will fire Viktor Chebrov
and Bohdan Babii, the heads of the top nuclear and energy bodies,
because of electricity supply non-payments, shortage of nuclear fuel,
and monopolization of the energy sector, Reuters reported on 26 March.
The Ukrainian Trade Union Federation has appealed to Kuchma to dismiss
Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, ITAR-TASS reported. In his 21 March
address to the nation, Kuchma accused Lazarenko and his cabinet of
incompetence. Last month, Kuchma fired several ministers responsible for
the economy. -- Oleg Varfolomeyev

CONFLICTING UKRAINIAN VIEWS ON NATO. Ukrainian parliament speaker
Oleksander Moroz said in Budapest that the countries that plan to join
NATO soon will not play key roles in the organization, ITAR-TASS
reported on 26 March. The possibility of Ukraine joining NATO or having
a special partnership "is not a problem of practical politics now," he
said. Meanwhile, leader of the conservative Rukh (People's Movement)
Vyacheslav Chornovil called on the government to apply for NATO
membership immediately, Ukrainian television reported. Chornovil said
NATO membership would solve the problems of Crimea and Sevastopol and
other territorial claims to Ukraine. -- Oleg Varfolomeyev

U.S. EXPELS BELARUSIAN DIPLOMAT IN RETALIATION. Vladimir Gramyka, first
secretary and consul of the Belarusian diplomatic mission to Washington,
was expelled from the U.S. on 26 March, international agencies reported.
The measure was a response to the recent expulsion of a U.S. diplomat,
Serge Aleksandrov, from Belarus after he was detained at an anti-
president demonstration in Minsk. State Department spokesman John Dinger
expressed concerns about the deterioration in U.S.-Belarusian relations
but did not rule out further action by the U.S. Meanwhile, the newly
appointed Belarusian ambassador to the U.S., Valery Tsepkalo, who was on
his way to Washington, was recalled for consultation during a stop-over
in Frankfurt. That move followed a similar recall of the U.S. ambassador
to Belarus, Kenneth Yalowitz. -- Sergei Solodovnikov

BELARUS CLAMPS DOWN ON FOREIGN MEDIA. The Belarusian government
announced on 26 March it would issue stricter regulations for foreign
media, AFP reported. The decision came as the diplomatic row with the
U.S. intensified. Government spokesman Ivan Pashkevich said the new
rules would apply to all current accreditations and renewals would not
be forthcoming. The move will primarily affect Russian journalists; all
three Russian television networks have been banned from transmitting
footage from Minsk. -- Sergei Solodovnikov

FIVE U.S. CONGRESSMEN VISIT ESTONIA. A delegation of three Republicans
and two Democrats, headed by Gerald Solomon, began a three-day visit to
Estonia on 26 March, BNS reported. Solomon, one of the most ardent
supporters of the Baltic states in the House of Representatives, in
January submitted a bill to the Foreign Affairs Committee recommending
Baltic integration into NATO as soon as they meet alliance standards.
The delegation has scheduled meetings with President Lennart Meri, Prime
Minister Mart Siimann, Foreign Ministry and parliament officials to
discuss NATO expansion, regional security, and bilateral relations. The
representatives will travel to Latvia on 28 March. -- Saulius Girnius

PARLIAMENT COMMITTEE APPROVES CANDIDATE FOR LITHUANIAN PROSECUTOR
GENERAL. The Seimas Law and Order Committee on 26 March decided to
nominate Kazys Pednycia as prosecutor general, Radio Lithuania reported.
The 46-year-old lawyer, who has served as a deputy municipal prosecutor,
head of customs, and deputy director of state security, had been
proposed by Justice Minister Vytautas Pakalniskis. The Seimas is
expected to confirm the nomination. President Algirdas Brazauskas, from
whom the Seimas took away the right to nominate the prosecutor general
earlier in the month, said he will approve Pednycia's candidacy. --
Saulius Girnius

POLISH CONSTITUTION CLOSE TO FINAL STAGE. The Constitutional Commission
of the Polish parliament accepted on 26 March most of President
Aleksander Kwasniewski's 41 amendments to the constitution that was
adopted by the National Assembly on 22 March. The National Assembly will
vote on the amendments on 2 April. The commission accepted limitations
of parliamentarians' immunity, as well as the president's prerogative to
nominate the chief of the General Staff and the commanders in chief of
the army, air force, and navy. In a public opinion poll conducted 8-11
March, 72% of respondents said they will vote in the  referendum on the
constitution tentatively scheduled for 25 May. Some 34% supported the
draft prepared by the National Assembly, while 28% supported that
prepared by Solidarity Electoral Action (although only the National
Assembly's draft will be put on referendum). -- Jakub Karpinski

SOLIDARITY ELECTORAL ACTION ELECTS LEADERSHIP. Solidarity Electoral
Action (SAW), uniting some two dozen right-of-center parties, elected on
26 March as its vice presidents Solidarity deputy chairman Janusz
Tomaszewski, Christian-National Union president Marian Pilka,
Confederation for Independent Poland president Adam Slomka, and
president of the Federation of Catholic Families' Associations Kazimierz
Kapera. Solidarity chairman Marian Krzaklewski is SAW president. The
Center Alliance (PC) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski withdrew his candidacy
for the SAW vice presidency although the PC is one of the strongest
parties in the SAW. In a 22-23 March poll, 29% of respondents supported
the SAW, 25% the co-ruling Democratic Left Alliance, 12% the co-ruling
Polish Peasant Party, 12% the opposition Freedom Union, and 10% the
opposition Movement for Poland's Reconstruction. -- Jakub Karpinski

U.S. SENATOR ON NATO EXPANSION. Joseph Biden, a ranking Democratic
member of the U.S. Senate, said in Prague that any decision to expand
NATO eastward will face a tough test in the U.S. Congress, RFE/RL
reported on 26 March. Biden said he assumes the NATO summit in July will
invite the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia to start entry
negotiations. But he warned that senators will want assurances that
prospective members maintain democratic institutions, respect civil and
minority rights, and keep their military forces under civilian control.
Candidates will have to show ability to absorb the costs of joining the
alliance and operate on equal terms with the current members. Biden said
some senators and representatives are hesitant to support expansion. But
he noted that the alliance has already made the decision to do so. --
Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK ROUNDUP. Culture Minister Ivan Hudec on 26 March pledged to renew
talks with cultural trade unions by mid-April, CTK reported. The
announcement followed talks between representatives of the government,
unions, and employers--the first tripartite talks held in more than a
month. Also on 26 March, Jozef Migas denied allegations that his
campaign for the chairmanship of the opposition Party of the Democratic
Left (SDL) was financed by his friend, Lubomir Kanis, a member of the
Russian-Slovak Devin banka's board of directors. The allegations,
published by Sme on 26 March, came from a source within the SDL. Migas
was a virtually unknown figure when he was elected SDL chairman in April
1996. Finally, Prosecutor General Michal Valo on 26 March sent a letter
to opposition Democratic Union deputy Viliam Vaskovic saying that the
National Property Fund (FNM) "is not required to act in the public
interest." He also said his office cannot monitor or control the FNM. --
Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN FARMER PROTEST LACKS SUPPORT. A protest by Hungarian farmers
who had planned to block road traffic at border crossings failed when
only a few hundred farmers showed up, Hungarian media reported on 27
March. Although rallies were held in the southern and southeastern
regions, most farmers ignored the call by the farmers union Metesz to
block nationwide border routes with tractors and agricultural
implements. Following loud protests earlier this month, the Hungarian
parliament on 25 March adopted a law designed to lower income taxes and
farmers' social security contributions. Since then, Metesz has presented
the government with a new series of demands, including advantageous bank
loans for farmers and measures to protect Hungarian agriculture from
European competition. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

DEATH TOLL RISES IN ALBANIA. A 35-year-old man was killed on the spot
and a six-year-old child died later in hospital when a gunman opened
fire on a public bus on 26 March near the village of Sauk, just south of
Tirana, AFP reported. Six others were wounded. The motive for the attack
was unknown. The Interior Ministry said violence throughout the country
that day left 11 people dead, most killed by stray bullets or in
vendetta attacks; a five-year-old child was killed while playing with a
grenade that exploded. The death toll for the unrest has now reached
over 160. In Vlora, the national bank was ransacked and blown up; the
building was empty after the bank was closed down last month. Meanwhile,
Italy deported around 200 Albanian "undesirables," bringing the total
number of deported suspected criminals to 900. -- Fabian Schmidt

OSCE FAILS TO ISSUE MANDATE FOR MILITARY ACTION. Six EU nations, who
have sent military experts to Albania to spearhead work for a possible
security force to protect aid, suffered a setback after they failed to
secure an international green light for their plan. The OSCE failed to
approve a mandate for a military mission at talks in Vienna on 26 March.
Reuters quoted one diplomat as saying "the meeting ended in disarray."
France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, and Greece may now get bogged
down in seeking authority from the UN or take the riskier step of going
in alone. Turkey and Romania have also expressed willingness to take
part. Prime Minister Bashkim Fino insisted that any foreign forces would
be "very small" and would help keep open the ports of Vlora and Durres
and protect Rinas airport. -- Fabian Schmidt

'SPECIAL FORCES' TO HUNT WAR CRIMINALS IN BOSNIA? The current chair of
Bosnia's joint presidency, Alija Izetbegovic, said after meeting in
Washington with U.S. President Bill Clinton: "We received clear
assurances that the war criminals will be brought to justice." He said
his impression is that "special forces" will be used, international
media reported on 26 March. Izetbegovic once again raised his concerns
about poor implementation of the Dayton agreement, including the failure
to arrest war criminals. SFOR and the international police have avoided
arresting war criminals lest the NATO forces suffer casualties. --
Patrick Moore

UN OFFICIAL IN CHARGE OF FINDING MISSING YUGOSLAV WAR VICTIMS QUITS.
Austria's Manfred Nowak, the head of the UN Working Group on Enforced
Disappearances, resigned on 26 March to protest a lack of cooperation
with his office, international media reported. He said that, while most
of the missing in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina are presumed dead,
it is necessary to clarify their fates for the sake of their families
and of long-term peace. Nowak found, however, that the international
community has failed to come up with sufficient money for his group to
continue its work, and that Belgrade, Pale, and SFOR are less than
cooperative. The Austrian jurist added that there are still 20,000
missing in Bosnia, most of whom are Muslim men and boys. In Croatia,
5,000 persons are unaccounted for from the 1991 war, plus 1,000 federal
Yugoslav soldiers from that same time as well as 2,000 Serbs from the
time of the 1995 Croatian offensives. -- Patrick Moore

UNHCR BLASTS GERMAN DEPORTATION OF BOSNIANS. The UN's main refugee
agency criticized Bavaria for sending 44 people back to Bosnia with
little or no concern for their well-being, Reuters reported on 26 March.
A UNHCR statement said that "some of these people were woken up in the
middle of the night and forced onto the flight back to Sarajevo," where
nine of them had to sleep at a transit center since they have no
relatives there. Bosnian officials said that Germany was treating
refugees like criminals and showing no concern for what awaited them
back in Bosnia. The Bavarian government and the Berlin authorities have
been particularly zealous in seeking to deport the refugees because of
domestic political considerations. During the war, Germany took in more
refugees from the former Yugoslavia than did any other EU country. --
Patrick Moore

ROUNDUP FROM THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. An ethnic Serbian family was
expelled over the weekend from their home in Croatia's Knin area. VOA
reported on 26 March that an angry crowd and a local official forced the
recently returned refugees out despite pledges by President Franjo
Tudjman to protect Serbs. Elsewhere in Croatia, the exhumation of mass
graves has begun again with the return of spring weather. In Belgrade,
taxi drivers and truckers blocked roads for seven hours to protest high
income taxes and vehicle import duties, Nasa Borba wrote. -- Patrick
Moore

MACEDONIAN LONDON CLUB DEAL SIGNED. The debt-reduction and -rescheduling
agreement between Macedonia and the London Club of commercial creditors-
-reached on 24 October 1996--was signed in London on 26 March, Nova
Makedonija reported. According to Finance Minister Taki Fiti, the deal
reduces Macedonia's obligations from $644 million to $228.7 million. The
reduction is larger than the $364 million envisioned in October because
of the strengthening of the dollar since then and because some of the
debt has been repurchased by federal Yugoslavia's national bank.
Macedonia accepted 5.4% of the principal on former Yugoslavia's debt to
the club (3.7% of the interest); in earlier agreements, Slovenia had
accepted 18% and Croatia 29.5%. The agreement reschedules the debt over
15 years with a four-year grace period. -- Michael Wyzan

KING MIHAI PLEADS FOR ROMANIAN NATO MEMBERSHIP. In London on 25 March,
former King Mihai said Romania meets all NATO membership criteria and
warned that excluding it from the alliance's first expansion could
provoke problems throughout Eastern Europe, Reuters reported. The former
monarch said that admitting Hungary while leaving out Romania could lead
to the deterioration of ties between the two countries and jeopardize
Bucharest's efforts to conclude with Ukraine a similar treaty as that
concluded with Budapest. On a related matter, Foreign Minister Adrian
Severin, paying a two-day visit to Portugal, discussed Romania's quest
for admission to NATO in the first wave with his Portuguese counterpart,
Jaime Gama. Portugal is the seventh NATO country to express support for
Romania's admission, Romanian television reported. -- Michael Shafir

NEW DEMAND FOR ANTONESCU'S REHABILITATION. Justin Tambozie, a senator
representing the Party of Romanian National Unity (PUNR), asked
Prosecutor General Nicolae Cochinescu to begin procedures for the
rehabilitation of Romanian wartime fascist leader Marshal Ion Antonescu,
who was executed in 1946, Romania libera reported on 26 March. A similar
demand was repeatedly made by PUNR deputy Petre Turlea. Tambozie also
demanded that the government erect a commemorative statue of Antonescu.
Three such statutes have already been erected by private sponsors. --
Michael Shafir

OSCE MOLDOVAN REPRESENTATIVES NOT ADMITTED TO COMMISSION. Police in the
Transdniester breakaway region banned representatives of the OSCE
mission from entering the town of Tighina-Bendery to attend the sitting
of the Joint Control Commission (JCC), which includes Moldovan,
Transdniester, Russian, and OSCE representatives. The Transdniestrian
representatives said the OSCE representatives do not have a mandate, as
the agreement on cooperation between the JCC and the OSCE expired on 7
February, BASA-press and Infotag reported on 25 March. However, the
agreement provides for automatic extension if the sides do not suggest
modifications or completion. The meeting was canceled. -- Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN PARTY MOVES INTO 'CONSTRUCTIVE OPPOSITION.' The Socialist
Unity-Edinstvo faction in the Moldovan parliament announced on 26 March
that it was moving into "constructive opposition," Infotag reported. The
faction was the second largest represented in parliament after the 1994
elections but it shrank after several deputies joined other parties. The
announcement did not specify what will happen with the Socialist Unity-
Edinstvo representatives in the executive. Reflecting the discontent of
the party's many ethnic Russians, it said that the government's "once-
promised principle of professionalism has been replaced by an
ethnocratic approach." It also criticized President Petru Lucinschi for
refusing to sign the memorandum for the settlement of the
Transdniestrian conflict. -- Michael Shafir

HEAD OF BULGARIAN PRIVATIZATION AGENCY SACKED. The board of the
Privatization Agency on 26 March dismissed the agency's executive
director, Veselin Blagoev, Kontinent reported. Chairman of the board
Yosif Iliev said Blagoev, who was appointed by the previous Socialist
government, "lacked sufficient initiative and flexibility." Blagoev's
deputy, Iliya Dimov, will fill in until a successor is named next week,
Iliev said. In other news, Demokratsiya reported that President Petar
Stoyanov said the interim government has "not yet fulfilled its task of
purging corrupt officials." He said he will bring up the matter at his
next meeting with Prime Minister Stefan Sofiyanski. Socialist Party
leader Georgi Parvanov had complained to Stoyanov about "illegal
dismissals" of officials in the state administration and the state-owned
industry. -- Stefan Krause

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO SUBSIDIZE BULGARIAN WAGES, PENSIONS.
Bulgaria's interim government has agreed to create by the end of June a
system for social protection with expenditures subsidized by the budget,
IMF, World Bank, and EU, Demokratsiya reported. A donors conference in
Brussels on 8-9 April will come up with a figure for such assistance.
Bulgaria has agreed that all subsidies will go to households, not
enterprises or budgetary organizations, and it has agreed to ensure
sufficient budget revenue to increase wages, pensions, and social
payments. The average monthly wage is to reach $72 in April and $112 in
December, the average pension $22.5 in April and $34 in December. The
only international assistance provided so far for Bulgaria's social-
protection system as its government introduces radical reforms has been
ECU 22 million ($25.5 million) from the EU. -- Michael Wyzan

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Susan Caskie

*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!

What's in Store for the magazine Transition

We've learned much in the last two years about what sort of magazine
Transition can be and what role it should play in Central and Eastern
Europe and the former Soviet Union. Of greatest help in this process has
been the advice of readers. Among some of the desired changes are for
Transition to offer even more articles by writers in the region - lively
opinion pieces as well as fact-filled analysis and expanded departments.

Accordingly, Transition will be substantially restructured and
relaunched as a monthly with the issue dated June 1997. The last
biweekly issue will be 6 April, followed by a brief hiatus. All existing
subscriptions will be honored and extended according to the new monthly
frequency, which is priced at $65 for 12 issues. As before, we offer a
substantial discount for readers in and of the countries we cover (apply
to the contacts listed below for more information).

For engaged intellectuals, policymakers, journalists, and scholars from
the region, the new Transition will provide a rare forum for the
exchange of ideas and criticism on political, economic, and cultural
issues and events.

For more information, contact the OMRI Marketing Department at tel.
(420-2) 6114 2114, fax (420-2) 6114 3181; email: transition-DD@omri.cz

*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Copyright (c) 1997 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                      All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570
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RUSSIAN REGIONAL REPORT
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